Saudi Arabia is working to develop peaceful uses for nuclear energy across various fields through close cooperation with IAEA, Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has said.
These include the Saudi National Atomic Energy Project and its components, among which is the project to build the first nuclear energy power plant in the kingdom, he said at the 67th session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), held in Vienna.
He affirmed the kingdom’s commitment to its national policy for atomic energy which ensures the highest standards of transparency and reliability, and the highest levels of safety, said a report in Saudi Press Agency.
He said that the kingdom recognises the positive contribution of nuclear energy to energy security, as well as its social, and economic benefits.
The minister said the kingdom is looking forward to operating a regional cooperation centre with the IAEA to develop human capabilities in the areas of preparedness and response to radiological and nuclear emergencies, as well as other regulatory aspects at national, regional, and international levels.
"The kingdom emphasises the importance of concerted international efforts to implement the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, ensuring its universal adherence. It also affirms the significance of countering nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. In this regard, we reaffirm the importance of fully implementing Resolution 1995, which aims to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East," the minister said.
He announced the kingdom's support for the “Rays of Hope” Initiative launched by IAEA with $2.5 million to help save lives and address the burden of cancer diseases using nuclear techniques, adding that this support comes as an extension of the kingdom’s continued support for the agency’s efforts and distinguished initiatives to serve humanity.
The minister congratulated IAEA and its member states on the upcoming launch of the Nuclear Security Training and Demonstration Centre in Seibersdorf, scheduled to be operational in October of this year, which the kingdom took the initiative in establishing and funding it with the cooperation of other countries.